Sunday, December 23, 2012

All aboard for Christmas

It seems to be a rule of life that, when you are living in tight quarters, something happens to make your space even smaller.

Christmas is here, and it is time for family visits.  Last weekend, my cousin and his family came up from Auckland for a few days.  Eight to a boat is nothing to sneeze at, but everyone was in good spirits, and we had lots of fun.  We sailed, we anchored, we went ashore.  The kids, eschewing the banality of playing on the pristine sand beach, found a muddy pool of stagnant water under the trees where they built bridges and mud castles.
I'm filthy!  Hooray! 

Guests bearing delicious home-made banana cake are always welcome.

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse… until 3 am.  My eyes snapped at the sound of weeping and small feet pattering along the floorboards.  Indy, stomach in knots, was making a beeline for the official safe haven for all nighttime ills, ie. Mom.

Unfortunately, the salon was full of sleeping relatives.  My cousin rolled over on the salon bench and asked her if she was okay.  Indy, sick and half-asleep, was sufficiently puzzled by this unexpected voice in the dark that she stopped in her tracks.  Then she threw up on the floor.

And the dam broke.  Our two- and five-year old guests soon followed Indy’s lead.  Inevitably, they decided it might be fun to let things out the other end, too.  You can paint your own picture.  In order to give up the main head to our guests, Indy and I trooped back to spend the night in her bunk, a convenient six feet from the aft head.  So I spent the night in a single bunk at least a foot too short for me, wedged next to a sick four-year old, and waking every half hour or so to guide her head over a bucket.  Delightful!

And so I learned: eight people = snug, but snug becomes crushing with 3/8 of the passengers under five and over-sick.

The sickness was gone by morning.  The kids behaved as though it had never been; the adults were a little on the slow side.  Stylish missed the whole thing (and had the gall to complain about being “woken early” at 9 am).  But we had a lovely Sunday, and all agreed that we should do this again later in the season.

Tired?  Who is tired?
A few days later, Erik’s parents arrived for Christmas.  After all that excitement, what could be easier than having a mere two grandparents aboard for a relaxing month-long visit?

And then the rain came.

We are currently enjoying the last wisps of a cyclone.  The rain is driving, the boat is bucking, and we didn’t get to sail further than Russell before Christmas.  Trapped aboard together, the boat is feeling a little snug again.

But Omi and the girls are baking Christmas cookies.  After all, when did a massive refined sugar injection ever make a situation worse?

Happy holidays to all.


Carol said...

Merry Christmas to the Papillion crew from all of us in Ballinafad!

bunny9 said...

Wish we were there to add to the merriment.
Love Grannie & Poppa

Kate said...

Merry Christmas Papillion crew. Wish you could fit us in as well.

Love Kate, Rich and Beth